Tags: Michigan

Could Michigan’s Eighth District Replace a Mike with a Mike?


Representative Mike Rogers, Michigan Republican and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, surprised the political world by announcing that he won’t run for another term and will instead begin a new career hosting a radio show.

This leaves Republicans in need of a candidate in Michigan’s eighth congressional district, an R+2 district that includes Lansing, the state capital, and Michigan State University. The GOP candidate will be slightly favored in this open-seat race, but it is by no means a sure thing.

I’m hearing the name Mike Bishop mentioned as a potential GOP candidate; he’s a former prosecutor and state-senate majority leader whose last bid for office was a campaign for Oakland County prosecutor in 2012. He lost in the general election to an incumbent Democrat, 45 percent to 51 percent, in a year when Obama was winning the county with 53 percent.

The Detroit News mentions several other potential GOP candidates:

state Rep. Bill Rogers of Brighton, who is term-limited, state Sen. Joe Hune from Livingston County and state Rep. Tom McMillin of Rochester Hills, who is trailing in polling currently in a state Senate race.

Tags: Mike Rogers , Mike Bishop , Michigan

Michigan’s Senate Race, Still Looking Like a Jump Ball


Rep. Gary Peters, a House Democrat from Michigan who probably expected an easy road to a Senate victory this November, can breathe a bit easier at a poll out today that has him ahead of Republican Terri Lynn Land.

He’s up by three.

And below 40 percent.

Peters is just below 40 percent, in a polling sample where 38.8 percent identified themselves as Democrat, 31.5 percent as Republican, 24.2 percent as independent. (In 2010, the last midterm election, a statewide exit poll indicated 44 percent of respondents self-identified as Republican,  and 37 percent self-identified as Democrat.)

But hey, that’s the first poll that has had Peters with any lead at all in a while


Tags: Michigan , Terri Lynn Land , Gary Peters

Look! A Birther Running for Governor in Michigan!


Isn’t it awful? Mark McFarlin, a candidate for governor in Michigan, suggests that President Obama wasn’t born in the United States, and says he has doubts about the authenticity of the copy of Obama’s birth certificate released to the public. (He contends the phrase “African-American” appears on the certificate, but it does not. The term “African” does appear on the line identifying the race of the president’s father.)

Oh, by the way, he’s a Democrat.

(This post originally mixed up McFarlin with Tim Skubick, the author of the linked piece.)

Tags: Barack Obama , Michigan

The Obamacare Exchanges: 0 for Michigan So Far


Unbelievable . . . okay, it’s actually increasingly believable that the Obamacare exchanges are 0 for Michigan.

Two weeks after the launch of the Michigan Health Insurance Marketplace, it’s still unclear how many Michiganders have been able to buy insurance there.

Comments earlier today by the chief deputy of the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services underscored the lingering confusion over health insurance exchanges, the centerpiece in each state of the federal Affordable Care Act.

Ann Flood, who on Nov. 1 will become the director of the department, said she checked with her staff and “we actually do not have any confirmation of anyone (in Michigan) signing up on the exchange.”

Lest you think the state is particularly short on uninsured people, the Michigan Household Survey on Health Insurance calculated that 790,000 people in the state do not have health insurance. In August, the Michigan senate narrowly passed an expansion of Medicaid, an essential part of the politically divisive Obamacare, an expansion that “is expected to add health coverage for 470,000 uninsured when fully in place.”

Tags: Obamacare , Michigan

NRSC: Obama’s Job Rating Is Lower in Michigan Than in Some Red States


The National Republican Senatorial Committee is feeling optimistic about next year’s open-seat Senate race in Michigan. From a new memo by Ward Baker, NRSC political director:

If someone would have told me a year ago that the Michigan Senate seat would be in play in 2014 I would have encouraged them to seek professional help. I would have said that there’s no way, in a mid-term election with so many Senate seats in play, in states that President Obama lost by double digits, we would be focused on a state that Mitt Romney lost by nine points.
What a difference a year makes.
Michigan has undergone dramatic shifts in public opinion over the last twelve months. Nowhere is that shift more pronounced than in President Obama’s favorability. On Election Day 2012, Obama enjoyed a 57% fav-41% unfav image among Michigan voters, and took 54% of the vote. Today, his image has dropped to one-to-one (48%-46%) in the latest EPIC-MRA poll.
More critical, President Obama’s job performance rating is worse in Michigan than it is in some of the red states, with six-in-ten giving him a negative score (39% positive-60% negative). And, in a mid-term where Obama will not be on the ballot himself, it will be his job and not his likability that will have the most down-ballot influence.
At the same time, voters in the state are becoming less positive about the direction of the country under Obama (28% right direction-59% wrong track, was 31%-57% in May), and more positive about the direction of Michigan under a Republican Governor (42% right direction-42% wrong track, was 40%-46% in May). All this might explain why Sen. Carl Levin — who everyone assumes would have been a shoo-in for re-election — announced six months ago that he would not seek another term in the Senate.
Almost immediately, Rep. Gary Peters threw his hat in the ring. The same Gary Peters who has already been rejected statewide by Michigan voters once. The same Gary Peters who is virtually unknown by the majority of the state. The same Gary Peters who stood by idly, offering no hope and no vision, while Detroit — which he represents — literally went bankrupt.
National Democrats tripped over themselves to unite behind Peters’ lackluster candidacy, and have spent the better part of the last months trying to convince everyone, including themselves, that he’s a top tier candidate.
But the truth shall set you free, and the truth is that the environment is turning away from Democrats in Michigan. The truth is the majority of Michigan doesn’t have a clue who Gary Peters is. The truth is the few people in Michigan who actually do know who Gary Peters is are terribly unenthusiastic about his candidacy. But don’t take my word for it. One recent poll showed Gary Peters’ image is 18% fav-10% unfav, with over half not recognizing his name (55% never heard of).
By comparison, the Republican Terri Lynn Land has won statewide in Michigan. Twice. Land is better known and liked (28% fav-10% unfav) than her opponent, and performs extremely well on the ballot in multiple polls. She is within a point on the EPIC-MRA poll, leads in the recent Mitchell Poll from August (up from being tied in March), Denno Research has them currently tied, in March Harper Polling took a glance at the race and had Land up by eight (though Land and Peters both in the 20s at that point), and even PPP shows Land within striking distance.
With six polls showing this race is tight, President Obama’s popularity and approval plummeting, and the fact that most Michigan voters don’t have a clue who Gary Peters is, Michigan is one more state where Democrats will be on defense and Republicans will be on offense. It’s one more state (along with Kentucky, Georgia, Alaska, Arkansas, Hawaii, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina and South Dakota) where Democrats will be forced to spend millions to try and drag a lackluster candidate across the finish line. A daunting task made even more daunting given the fact that the DSCC is already drowning in debt.
Michigan is in play, and the Democrat majority is in serious jeopardy.

We should note that while Levin’s retirement may reflect concerns about poll numbers, it may also reflect that he’s 79 years old and has served six terms. The polling numbers are intriguing, though, and one has to wonder if Detroit will continue to be a reliable trove of votes for Democrats as the city’s quality of life continues to deteriorate. Also note that Governor Rick Snyder, a Republican, has a healthy lead in his bid for reelection. Perhaps a wholescale urban economic disaster has scrambled the traditional political calculus in this state.

Tags: NRSC , Michigan , Terri Lynn Land , Gary Peters

Michigan Judge to Decide on Senate Bid Soon


Back in early July, the National Republican Senatorial Committee met with Oakland County district-court judge Kimberly Small about the open Senate seat in Michigan, according to the Washington Post. A little bird familiar with Michigan politics tells me Small will make her decision by September 1, and is likely to run.

As a judge, Small doesn’t have the name ID in the political realm, but she has garnered some favorable coverage in her 17 years on the bench. Small currently is judge for a district that includes Michigan’s wealthier communities, including the charter townships of Bloomfield and West Bloomfield and the cities of Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Keego Harbor, Orchard Lake Village, and Sylvan Lake.

She travels to middle schools and presides over mock trials to help teach kids about making good choices.

Small garnered national headlines when she sentenced former University of Michigan and NBA basketball player Jalen Rose to 20 days behind bars for drunk driving, telling him, “You’re not here because you drank. I have no problem with that. Have at it. I do mind when you get behind the wheel of a two-ton vehicle and use it as a weapon against the rest of us.”

She has garnered some controversy for sentencing nearly all first-time drunk-driving offenders to jail:

Of course, “she’s too tough on drunk drivers” is not a line often heard in attack ads.

Six-term incumbent senator Carl Levin, a Democrat, is retiring. Representative Gary Peters is expected to be the Democrats’ Senate nominee.

Terri Lynn Land, member of the Republican National Committee and former Michigan secretary of state, is the only other declared Republican candidate for Senate. Representative Justin Amash said last month he’s still thinking about it.

Tags: Michigan , Kimberly Small , Justin Amash , Terri Lynn Land , Gary Peters

Will the GOP’s Rogers Run for Senate in Michigan?


Here’s a serious option for Republicans in Michigan’s Senate race: Representative Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers has joined a growing list of Republicans who may run in 2014 for the Senate seat that Democrat Carl Levin plans to vacate.

Rogers of Howell, a former FBI agent, has served in Congress since 2001 and is chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

“I am giving the Senate race serious consideration,” Rogers told the Free Press on Saturday.

The Free Press mentions two other potential GOP candidates, former secretary of state Terri Lynn Land and U.S. representative Justin Amash. On the Democratic side, Representative Gary Peters, a Bloomfield Township Democrat, said he is seriously considering a run.

Brian Dickerson, a columnist for that newspaper, contends that Michigan Democrats have been running on their past, and desperately need an infusion of youth:

Three of the five congressional seats the party still controls are held by men in their 70s or 80s; by contrast, only two of the Michigan’s delegation’s nine GOP members (Reps. Tim Walberg and Kerry Bentivolio) have reached their 60th birthdays.

The result is that the names that have defined the Democratic Party for the last decade or so — Levin, Dingell, Kelly, Granholm — belong either to septuagenarians whose lease on power is expiring or, in Granholm’s case, to a woman who has decamped to another venue and vocation.

Tags: Justin Amash , Michigan , Mike Rogers

Our New New Tone: ‘There Will Be Blood!’ ‘Civil War!’


From the midweek edition of the Morning Jolt:

The New ‘New Tone’ of Our Politics, From Michigan: ‘There Will Be Blood!’

The massive public tantrum of Wisconsin’s unions didn’t work in that state in 2011, but labor unions are willing to try the same in Michigan.

Conn Carroll:

“There will be blood,” State Representative Douglas Geiss threatened from the floor of the Michigan House of Representatives today as the body debated legislation that would make Michigan the nation’s 24th right to work state.

“I really wish we had not gone here,” Geiss continued. “It is the leadership in this house that has led us here. The same leadership that tried to throw a bomb right on election day, leading to a member switching parties, and came in at the 11th hour with a gotcha bill. For that, I do not see solace, I do not see peace.”

But wait, there’s more!

Jimmy Hoffa, president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, said Tuesday he expects Michigan unions and lawmakers to break out into “civil war” after the state’s legislature passed right-to-work bills that would weaken unions’ power.

“This is just the first round of a battle that’s going to divide this state. We’re going to have a civil war,” Hoffa said on CNN’s “Newsroom.” The Republican-controlled state House passed two bills that had already been approved by the GOP-dominated state Senate. Gov. Rick Snyder, also a Republican, is poised to sign the bill, which would allow workers at union-represented employers to forgo paying dues.

“There will be blood!” “We’re going to have civil war!” Meanwhile, outside the state capitol:

Tempers flared Tuesday morning here at the state Capitol as police — some on horses — moved into to break up a mob scene as the Republican-controlled House approved a contentious right-to-work bill.

Thousands of union members and friends of organized labor gathered to show their opposition, at times heated, to the legislation that prohibits unions from forcing unionized employees to pay union dues or join labor groups.

Gov. Rick Snyder had not yet signed the bill into law, although he has signaled that he would.

By mid-morning, the Capitol was a scene of chaos as union members and organizers from pro-right-to-work Americans for Prosperity got into a shouting match. Wisconsin Reporter’s Ryan Ekvall, at the scene, said right-to-work opponents grew increasingly agitated over AFP’s signs.

“There was some pushing and shoving. At one point, I was in the middle of the crowd; it was like a mosh pit where you couldn’t control yourself. You were being moved with the crowd,” Ekvall said.

He saw two lines of police officers forming, “marching like military,” with four officers mounted on horses. They dispersed the crowd and restored peace to the section of the grounds. Before doing so, union members pulled up the tent stakes, and the tent collapsed with some AFP members inside, according to witnesses at the scene.

Our Christian Schneider spoke with David Fladeboe of Americans for Prosperity, who was working security outside the tent:

Fladeboe said the tent, for which AFP-Michigan had received a permit a week earlier, held between 30 and 40 people before protesters began stabbing at its straps with knives. He said that at first, protesters were targeting random straps to avoid being caught — then, finally, they focused on one corner of the tent in an effort to pull it down. Fladeboe said that even once several of the straps were cut, the local police on the scene did little to help the volunteers re-secure them.

Eventually, protesters were able to snap one of the tent stakes in half and pull it from beneath the tent, causing it to collapse. Fladeboe said that despite reports that the tent had been cleared of people before it went down, there were about a dozen people still trapped inside after it had fully collapsed.  “You could see people inside of it trying to get up, and you could see the tent moving,” he said — a problem exacerbated by the fact that protesters began “stomping” on top of the collapsed canvas while volunteers tried to help those trapped inside.

Before it had collapsed, the tent was held up by two 20-foot poles, which had to have fallen for it to collapse; volunteers were worried that those poles could have landed on someone stuck inside the tent. There also was hot coffee and hot chocolate served inside the tent that could have burned people if tipped over.

Fladeboe said that once the tent was clear of people, the protesters began pushing and shoving them — it was only then that the police got involved.

Here’s what’s left of the tent. A sports feature writer at Detroit Free Press characterizes the union mob’s reaction to the AfP tent as “taking the bait.” I suppose that’s one way of looking at it; it says something about those union members that all it took to “bait” them into a frothing mass of violence was someone being present and expressing a different opinion than them.

And then poor Fox News contributor Steven Crowder, best known for making funny videos, got punched in the face repeatedly and chipped a tooth.

“Even if you hate me, nothing I could have done warranted being suckerpunched and threatened with murder,” Crowder said.

Instapundit reader Michael Lotus writes:

No matter what Obama does, there is going to be a lot more of this.

These guys are out of ideas, out of money, and have no sane argument to make for what they want everyone else to pay for.

Thank God for camera phones. Even ten years ago, they would have done a lot worse, and gotten away with it.

And to answer your question, my guess is Obama says nothing and the news media does not cover it, which means it never happened.

Or it would mean that if it weren’t for camera phones and the Internet.

Crowder showed good restraint. If he had thrown a punch, he’d have been stomped to death.

Glenn adds, “We need to identify this guy and make an example of him. And his union bosses. I’ve pledged $1000 toward the reward fund.”

“Obviously this is just another example of the Koch brothers’ inciting violence,” groans Jonah, with a good video posted in the Corner.

Our Jillian Kay Melchior was at the capitol and found:

Few of the protesters I spoke to argued against right-to-work on the merits. Instead, their complaint seems to boil down to the suggestion that this is an attack on representative government. Many of them seemed to think that if they don’t get to exercise their political rights through direct democracy, they are being denied their freedoms outright.

That’s a profound misunderstanding of the American political system (and most every political system, ever).

Iowahawk summarizes, “What’s the difference between Mafia and unions? One threatens to kill you if you don’t give them money, the other dresses snappy.”

Tags: Michigan , Union Goons

Obama to Hold Rally in Michigan Today


Here’s how the president will be spending his Monday:

Later in the morning, the President will travel to Redford, Michigan. The departure from the South Lawn and the arrival at Metro-Wayne County Airport are open press.

At Daimler Detroit Diesel, the President will tour the plant and then deliver remarks to workers. There will be out-of-town travel pool coverage of the President’s tour and the President’s remarks will be open press.

In the afternoon, the President will depart Redford, Michigan en route Washington, DC. The departure from Metro-Wayne County Airport and the arrival on the South Lawn are open press.

The campaign-style rally with auto workers is expected to help the president lock down Michigan’s 16 electoral votes in the 2012 presidential election, which he won November 6.

Tags: Barack Obama , Michigan

Obama Buys One Week of Ads in Michigan


Michigan is now at least in play, as I am told by reliable sources that the Obama campaign is buying a week’s worth of television ads in the Detroit market. Mark Halperin is hearing the same things.

This is an ad purchase aimed at securing Michigan; it is not aimed at crossing into Ohio or any other state. Detroit’s radio market runs into Monroe County, which borders the Buckeye State, but it does not cross over, as some metropolitan media markets do.

This is the eleventh-largest media market in the United States and one of the more expensive ones, particularly compared to the smaller cities that make up most key swing-state markets.

Tags: Barack Obama , Michigan , Mitt Romney

Watch the Samples in Those Tantalizing State Polls


A Democratic firm, Baydoun/Foster, conducted a poll of Michigan for Detroit’s Fox affiliate and found Mitt Romney within two, 43.6 percent to President Obama’s 45.4 percent.

It’s the sixth poll since June that has put Romney within 2 percentage points or less. Of course, this firm had Romney up 4 in this state in August.

Looking over the numbers, there are a few quirks in the Baydoun/Foster sample. Only 2.7 percent of the respondents were 30 or younger; examining the exit-poll data from 2008, we see that 20 percent of Michigan’s voters were ages 18 to 29. There will probably be some drop-off in the young vote from last cycle to this cycle, but not that much.

Also, there are fewer African-Americans in this sample than we would expect; only 6.7 percent when they made up 12 percent of the vote in 2008. Again, one could expect lower turnout in this demographic, but it’s unlikely it would drop by half.

However, the sample also has a lot more women than you might expect. In 2008, Michigan split 54 percent women to 46 percent men; in this poll, it splits 58 percent women to 42 percent men. Since Republicans do better with men voters than women voters (although the real weakness is among single women voters), it’s possible this sample underestimates Romney’s true level of support.

One wonders, if the poll’s sample under-represents two demographics that favor the president (young voters and African-Americans) but over-represents another that favors him (women), whether the imbalances might create equilibrium.

(UPDATE: Eh, scratch that – I was looking at the numbers of the raw respondents. On the final page of the poll report: “We have included weighted aggregate results for polling study consideration based on underrepresented respondents in four demographic sectors (male respondents, respondents ages 18 to 30 and 31 to 50 and African American respondents). We believe our respondent universe is reflective of voters that are highly aware and interested in participating in the Presidential, US Senate and statewide ballot proposals election.” Having said that, it does provide a fascinating example of which types of people are less likely to be willing to talk to a pollster.)

Overall, Obama looks a little soft in Michigan — usually in the high 40s and ahead of Romney, but a quite modest lead for a president running on his boast that he saved the auto industry.

Tags: Barack Obama , Michigan , Mitt Romney , Polling

Romney Ahead in . . . Michigan?!?


Spit-take inducing poll out of Michigan:

President Barack Obama’s popularity in Michigan has slipped in recent months, leaving him in a dead heat with Republican challenger Mitt Romney, according to a new poll of state voters by EPIC-MRA of Lansing.

The poll, released this morning to the Free Press and four TV stations, shows Romney leading Obama 46%-45%, a reversal from the last EPIC poll in April which showed Obama ahead 47%-43%.

Obama’s personal and job approval numbers also have slipped, with 46% of Michiganders saying they have a favorable opinion of the president, and 41% approving of the job he’s doing.

A blip? Or a trend?

Hey, wasn’t Romney’s position on the auto bailout supposed to make him radioactive?

Tags: Michigan

Unguardedly Discussing Michigan With the Guardian


Later today, I’ll be discussing the Michigan results and state of the race over on the UK’s Guardian with Ana Marie Cox. You can participate in the gizmo below…

Tags: Michigan , Something Lighter

Romney’s Victory: Imported... From Detroit.


The post-Michigan edition of the Morning Jolt features the parable of Newt and the tree removal, the news of Olympia Snowe’s retirement, and of course, the big night for Romney:

Did Mitt Romney Turn a Corner Last Night?

Mike Memoli lays out the score:

Mitt Romney’s tentative hold on the status of GOP frontrunner received a significant boost with victory in Michigan, where he won his native state and fought off a spirited challenge from Rick Santorum.

Combined with a resounding triumph in the winner-take-all state of Arizona, Romney extended his lead in the delegate race and assuaged concerns of party leaders that the GOP race was on track for a prolonged and bitter battle.

Romney, the early favorite, had seen his lead evaporate as Santorum rode the momentum of a trio of wins earlier this month in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri that exposed the degree to which conservatives remained suspicious of the former Massachusetts governor.

But the Santorum campaign’s efforts to push a message tailored toward working-class voters was sidetracked by the candidate’s repeated comments on social issues.

Santorum addressed supporters at his headquarters in Grand Rapids, Mich., shortly after he called Romney to congratulate him on his victory.

“We came to the backyard of one of my opponents,” Santorum said. “And the people of Michigan looked into the hearts of the candidates. And all I have to say is, ‘I love you back.’”

The percentages, with 99 percent of precincts reporting: Romney 41.1 percent, Santorum 37.9 percent, Paul 11.6 percent, Gingrich 6.5 percent, other 2.9 percent. Turnout looks like it’s just under one million. 2008 turnout: About 869,000.

Our Dan Foster provides the highlights:

Of his Michigan win, Romney told an excited crowd in Novi that “We didn’t win by a lot, but we won by enough, and that’s all that matters.”

Romney made little mention of his Republican opponents, and instead focused all his fire on Barack Obama, saying that America couldn’t afford five more years of President Obama “with nothing to answer to.” Criticizing the president’s stewardship of the economy, despite having two years of complete legislative control, Romney quipped: “We need a recovery from this so-called recovery.”

Exurban Jon: “Satan 2, Santo 0.”

Mike Murphy: “Mitt did very well in counties where they actually make cars. Rick didn’t. Media class warfare conventional wisdom was dead wrong.”

The first few minutes of Romney’s victory speech sounded pretty cookie-cutter… but then he seemed to come alive… or, you know, lifelike.

Stephen Hayes: “That staccato Obama contrast riff from Romney was very strong. This is an effective speech – maybe best election-night speech he’s given.”

Bob Costa: “Romney has genuine energy tonight. Not stiff. Conversational. Rare. Good for his campaign. Welcome shift from robot mode.”

Guy Benson: “Romney: Obama forgets to mention he also inherited a Democrat Congress, and could have done “anything he pleased.” Very important reminder.”

Josh Kraushaar: “The new line about Obama being unrestrained politically in a second term a new one for Mitt. Tested very well w CNN focus group.”

John Podhoretz: “Don’t underestimate the rhythms of this speech. This is something new from him.”

Patrick Ruffini: “The Romney camp is effective when it puts lead on the target.”

Kevin Eder: “Every panelist on MSNBC trashed Mitt. Yep, he’s our guy!”

Quite a few pundits saw a particular theme in Santorum’s speech last night:

Jeff Greenfield: “NOW Rick praises the working woman…a bit late, no?”

Our Katrina Trinko: “I’m getting the vibe that Santorums trying to tell us he’s fine w/ working moms.”

Sean Trende: “Shorter Santorum: Don’t be scared of me, working women.”

Jonathan Martin: “And now cometh Santo’s play to close that gender gap…”

Mickey Kaus: “Santorum speech opening: Did he do *that* badly among women?”

Laura Ingraham: “Rick S speech undisciplined and meandering. Started by pandering re women.”

Keep in mind, the delegate vote is going to end up close. So Romney’s statewide win got him 16 or so delegates, Santorum 14.

Oh, and keep an eye on Romney’s television interviews this morning, as they have proven to get… complicated for him in the past.

If you’re wondering how the delegates shake out, here’s how it looks – a decent night for Santorum on this score:

The only district that hadn’t been determined as of 11:30 p.m. Tuesday was the 13th district, which encompasses Detroit and portions of western Wayne County.

As a result, Romney wins 21 delegates from the congressional district results, according to results posted by the Michigan Republican Party, but only 14 of those delegates will be allowed to vote at the national convention because the state broke national GOP rules by moving its primary before the Super Tuesday contests next week.

Santorum wins 18 delegates from the congressional districts, but only 12 of those people will be able to vote at the national convention.

The statewide popular vote will be distributed between Romney and Santorum on a proportional basis with 14 at large delegates at stake, but only two of those delegates will have voting privileges. How those will be divvied up hasn’t been determined.

Tags: Michigan , Mitt Romney , Rick Santorum

53% of Self-Identified Democrats Voted for Santorum


CBS News’ Exit Poll finds that 9 percent of respondents identified themselves as Democrats. Among that group, 3 percent voted for New Gingrich, 17 percent each for Ron Paul and Mitt Romney, and 53 percent for Rick Santorum.

So did the pro-Santorum robocalls, hitting Romney for opposing the auto industry bailout (a position Santorum held as well), end up influencing about 4.5 percent of the total turnout in a Republican primary?

Tags: Michigan , Mitt Romney , Newt Gingrich , Rick Santorum , Ron Paul

Exit Poll: Romney 39%, Santorum 38%


Could be a long night: “Conservative Intel and JMC Polling & Analytics have just gotten the results of our exclusive exit polling of likely voters in the Michigan Republican primary. At this moment, Michigan is too close to call with Romney at 39% and Santorum at 38%, with a 5% margin of error.”

I am told the sample for this poll is Michiganders who have voted early, have voted today, or who told the pollster they will be voting by the end of the day.

UPDATE: A regional breakdown and other data:

Upper Peninsula: Romney/Santorum 38% each

Northern Michigan: 43-35% Romney

Flint Saginaw Midland: 42-27% Romney

Metro Detroit: 43-34% Romney

South Central Michigan: 38-34% Santorum

Western Michigan: 48-34% Santorum

Those who voted absentee: Romney 42-39%, Rep 66, Ind 25, Dem 9

Those who have yet to vote: Santorum 38-30%, Rep 43, Ind 38, Dem 19

Tags: Michigan , Mitt Romney , Rick Santorum

Will Today’s Crossovers Be Getting Direct Mail from the Right?


The buzz this morning is about Democrats crossing over to vote in today’s GOP primary.

Of course, by doing so, those Democrats will automatically change their party registration to the GOP. The sense is that this won’t change much; most of these folks are Democrats, through and through, despite the fact that they chose to cast a ballot in a GOP primary.

Except that the choice becomes public information. So any GOP-leaning group (say, one of the SuperPACs!) could take that information and the mailing addresses and add all of today’s voters to their mailing lists.

So suppose you wanted to dissuade a Michigan Democrat from voting for Obama again… you could point out his opposition to job-creating domestic energy production like the Keystone Pipeline. You could point out how his permitting and leasing policies have slowed domestic oil production in the Gulf of Mexico, even as gas approaches $5 per gallon. You could point out how he eliminated funding for a scholarship program that allowed low-income children attend the same private school his daughter attend. You could point out how his staunchly anti-gun attorney general let guns get into the hands of the Mexican cartels, and who uses that scandal as an excuse to call for more gun control. You could point out how despite the promises, only 5 percent of the stimulus ended up being spent on repairing roads and bridges, billions of dollars were given to tax cheats and millions of dollars were spent in fictitious congressional districts like a $156,000 project in “Michigan’s 83rd Congressional District.”

Today’s crossover voters might end up hearing a lot of messages the Obama campaign doesn’t want them to hear in the coming months.

Tags: Michigan , Rick Santorum

Mitt’s a Cowboy, Baby, With the Top Let Down & the Sunshine Shinin’


Tuesday’s edition of the Morning Jolt looks at Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s latest effort to silence dissent, our newly aggressive neighbors to the north, and then this most unlikely of Michigan team-ups…

Mitt Rock!

I’ll admit, I did not see this team-up coming:

There’s still a day left to campaign, but Michigan native Mitt Romney put an exclamation point on his campaign tonight with an appearance by Detroit rock legend Kid Rock at a rally in Royal Oak.

Romney said the Detroit music legend agreed after getting an promise that Romney would help Michigan and Detroit.

“He loves Michigan and Detroit and so do I,” Romney said before Kid Rock came out and sang what has become one of Romney’s main campaign songs, “Born Free.”

The final rally of the campaign attracted nearly a thousand people, almost all of them Romney supporters, who responded enthusiastically to Romney’s message of lower taxes, less regulation and more jobs.

When Romney jumped on the Harley with the bikers and reenacted the entire “American Bad [Tush]” video with the keg-throwing, fireworks and the women mud-wrestling, I knew we were seeing an entirely different side of the former Massachusetts Governor.

Okay, not really. The entire not-really-that-safe for work video can be found here.

I shouldn’t give Romney too much grief for appearing with Kid Rock, as it seems… er, “Mr. Rock” has matured a lot from his bikinis and “who knew I’d blow up like Oklahoma” days of 2000. While the Veterans of Foreign Wars criticized him for wearing the American flag as a poncho at the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show, it seemed pretty clear that his sartorial choice was driven by patriotism, not a desire to mock or desecrate the flag. He’s performed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, and Kosovo, and his preferred charity is Operation Homefront. And one of his most recent big hits, “All Summer Long” has a nostalgic tone that seems kind of sweet in today’s culture. It’s a reminder that Kid Rock is 40. His next gig? Performing with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. He contains multitudes.

Then again, maybe Romney needs a Kid Rock effect. Nate Silver wrote Monday afternoon:

Since we ran the Michigan numbers early Monday morning, three new polls are out that make the state look more like a true toss-up and less like one that favors Mr. Romney.

Two of the surveys, from Mitchell Research and American Research Group, in fact give Rick Santorum a nominal lead in Michigan, by 2 and 1 percentage points respectively. The third, from Rasmussen Reports, gives Mr. Romney a 2-point advantage.

We also added a hard-to-track down survey from Baydoun Consulting, which gave Mr. Romney an 8-point advantage. However, it is less recent than the others, having been conducted on Thursday night rather than over the weekend.

Among the five polls that were conducted over the weekend — including those that had been included with the previous update — three give Mr. Romney a small lead while two show an edge for Mr. Santorum.

And of course, there’s the crossover vote:

Michigan Democratic strategist Joe DiSano has taken it upon himself to become a leading mischief maker.

DiSano says he targeted nearly 50,000 Democratic voters in Michigan through email and a robo call to their homes, asking them to go to the polls Tuesday to vote for Rick Santorum in attempt to hurt Romney.

“Democrats can get in there and cause havoc for Romney all the way to the Republican convention,” DiSano told CNN.

“If we can help set that fire in Michigan, we have a responsibility to do so,” he said.

I suppose after Operation Chaos, Republicans can’t complain. Although I don’t recall Rush approvingly using arson metaphors for his actions. (Let me guess, he’s one of those guys who really enjoys Devil’s Night in Detroit, huh?) This is, of course, just one more argument for closed primaries.

But hey, at least it’s only Democratic strategists who are doing this sort of thing, and that the Santorum campaign is discouraging these shenanigans. Right? Right?

Santorum’s campaign, meanwhile, confirmed it was also using a robo call urging Michigan Democrats to cross over and vote for Santorum on Tuesday.

As they say on ESPN, “Oh, come on, man!”

Tags: Michigan , Mitt Romney , Rick Santorum

‘Get Us Back’ -- a 30-second History of the Tea Party


MI-01 — Dr. Dan Benishek, the Republican running to succeed outgoing Rep. Bart Stupak (D), offers a compelling flash history of the Tea Party in his latest campaign ad:

FiveThirtyEight is giving Benishek an 86 percent chance to take the seat. His opponent is state Rep. Gary McDowell (D).

Tags: Michigan

Rep. Gary Peters, Republican?


Rep. Gary Peters (D?, MI-09) is facing a tough reelection fight this year after being swept into office in the Obama wave of ‘08. But to what length is he willing to go to save his seat?

A routine Google search for “Gary Peters” brings up a link to his Congressional web site, under which the tag line reads “Official web site for Representative Gary Peters (R – MI).”

When BATTLE ‘10 contacted Rep. Peters’ office, a spokeswoman said Peters is in fact a Democrat, that they had just learned of the error today and are working to correct it. Curious.

Tags: Michigan

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